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tv   The Week in Parliament  BBC News  March 26, 2017 5:30am-6:01am BST

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in a vote dismissed as a sham by pro—democracy activists. the territory's chief executive will be selected by a specially—appointed committee of nearly 12000 people — most of them loyal to the chinese leadership. there are three candidates. the united states military has admitted that aircraft from the american—led coalition did strike part of the iraqi city of mosul where a large number of civilians were killed. it said it had opened an investigation but accused islamic state group fighters of using civilians as human shields. police in the belarusian capital minsk have arrested activists and journalists during the latest protests against government plans to tax the under—employed. president lukashenko has agreed to suspend — but not to cancel — proposals to fine people who work less than six months a year. now on bbc news, it's time for the week in parliament. hello and welcome to
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the week in parliament — a week that brought bloodshed to the streets of westminster and a defiant response from mps. let this be the message from this house and this nation today — our values will prevail. this democracy is strong, and this parliament is a robust. this democracy is strong, and this parliament is robust. this was a horrific crime, and as an act of terror it has failed. mps hold a minute's silence to remember those killed and injured, and members of the scottish parliament sent a message of solidarity to westminster. whatever our disagreements in this chamber or any other, we stand united in our core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. it had started as the wednesday much like any other. too many, the first sign that something was very badly wrong came while mps were taking part
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in a vote, and the deputy speaker, lindsay hoyle, stood up and made this announcement. order, order! i am now going to suspend the sitting of the house. this house is now suspended, but please wait here. outside the chamber, it was slowly becoming clear what had happened. at around 2:40, pedestrians and police had been mown down as a car was driven across westminster bridge at high speed and crashed into railings. the driver then ran round to parliament, stabbing and killing a police officer who was protecting one of the entrances, before he himself was shot down by an armed protection officer. mps were told to stay in the commons chamber, where the leader of the commons updated them on what had happened, and mps agreed to suspend their sitting for the day. in view of what i sense to be the mood of the house and the situation in which we find ourselves, i beg to move that the house do now adjourn. the question is the house do now adjourn. as many of you say, "aye".
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house: aye. the ayes have it, the ayes have it. but that was not the end of what turned into a very long day. mps were held in the commons chamber for hours before being evacuated to westminster abbey, along with peers and staff. they were eventually allowed to leave later in the evening. that night, the prime minister made a statement outside downing street condemning what she called the sick, depraved and appalling attack. and theresa may vowed that parliament would meet as normal the next day. and so the commons gathered on thursday morning at 9:33, and held a minute's silence. order. colleagues, and respectful memory of those who lost their lives in yesterday's attack, and of all of the casualties of that attack, we shall now observe a minute's silence. a little later, the prime minister spoke to mps.
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mr speaker, yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. but today we meet as normal. as generations have done before us and as future generations will continue to do, to deliver a simple message — we are not afraid. she paid tribute to pc keith palmer, who died protecting parliament. pc palmer had devoted his life to the service of his country. he had been a member of the parliamentary and diplomatic protection command for 15 years. and a soldier in the royal artillery before that. he was a husband and a father, killed during a job he loved. he was every inch a hero, and his actions will never be forgotten. house: hear, hear. she turned to the 52—year—old
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british—born attacker. some years ago he was once investigated by mi5 in a relation to concerns about violent extremism. he was a peripheral figure. the case is historic. he was not part of the current intelligence picture. there was no prior intelligence of his intent, or of the plot. intensive investigations continue. theresa may said the threat from islamist terrorism was real, but the public should not be cowed by the threat. and she paid tribute to the bournemouth east mp, tobias ellwood, who tried to save pc palmer. mr speaker, yesterday we saw the worst of humanity. but we will remember the best. we will remember the extraordinary efforts to save the life of pc keith palmer, including those by my right honourable friend the memberfor bournemouth east. house: hear, hear. and we will remember the exceptional bravery of our police, security and emergency services.
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and she said the greatest response lay not in the words of politicians, but in the everyday actions of ordinary people. the streets are as busy as ever. the offices full, the coffee shops and cafes bustling. tourists taking planes and trains to travel to london and to see for themselves the greatest city on earth. it is in these actions, millions of acts of normality, that we find the best response to terrorism. a response that denies our enemies of victory, but refuses to let them win, that shows we will never give in. a response driven by that same spirit that drove a husband and father to put himself between us and our attacker. and to pay the ultimate price. a response that says to the men and women who propagate this hate and evil, "you will not defeat us".
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mr speaker, let this be the message from this house and this nation today — our values will prevail, and i commend this statement to the house. house: hear, hear. mr speaker, i express my condolences to the family and friends of police officer keith palmer. who gave his life yesterday in defence of the public, and our democracy. the police and security staff lost a colleague yesterday. and continue to fulfil their duties, despite their shock and their grief for their fallen colleague, which many expressed to me late last night when i was talking to them. we see the police and security every day. they're our colleagues, they're fellow workers, they're friends, they're neighbours. and as the prime minister said, when dangerous and violent instances take place, we all instinctively run away from them for our own safety. the police and emergency services run towards them.
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we are grateful for the public service, yesterday, today and every day that they pull on their uniforms to protect us all. no terrorist outrage is representative of any faith or any faith community, and we recommit ourselves to strengthening the bonds of tolerance and understanding. and finally is it not best to follow the advice of brendan cox, the husband of our murdered mp colleague jo cox, who has said, "in the days to come i hope we will remember the love and bravery of the victim, notjust the hatred and cowardice of the attacker". those who attacked us hate our freedom, our peaceful democracy, our love of country, oui’ tolerance, oui’ openness and our unity. as we work to unravel how this unspeakable attack happened, will she agree with me that we must not, either in our laws or by our actions,
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curtaile these values? indeed, we should have more of them. as an act of terror, it has failed. it has failed because we are here and we are going to go about our business. it's failed because despite the trauma that they witnessed out by their windows, our staff are here and they are getting on with their work. it failed because as the prime minister so rightly said, we are not going to allow this to be used as a pretext for division, hatred and islamophobia. this democracy is strong, and this parliament is robust. this was a horrific crime, but as an act of terror it has failed. we have learnt in northern ireland that the way to overcome terrorism is by working together politically, and in every other way to ensure that our democratic values, the wall of law and human rights that our democratic values,
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the rule of law and human rights are all upheld in every way that we can. we must rededicate ourselves to that in the future. this attacker, and people like him, a lot of my religion. nor are they of our community, and we should condemn all of them who pretend to be of a particular religion, because they're not of a religion. if they were of a religion, they wouldn't be carrying out acts like this. we have too stay united and show them that they can't win on these grounds, and we are here to stay. a conservative remembered his friend, pc palmer. i'd like to turn to just a moment for pc keith palmer, who i first met 25 years ago as gunner keith palmer at the headquarter of the battery 100 regiment, royalartillery. he was a strong, professional public servant. and it was a delight to meet him here again only a few months after being elected. would my right honourable friend the prime minister,
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in recognition of the work that he did and the other police officers and public servants here in the house do, consider recognising his gallantry and sacrifice formally with a posthumous recognition? thanks. theresa may said it was something that would be considered in due course. while the prime minister was still speaking in the commons, the leader of the lords led tributes to those who died in the attack. her voice cracking with emotion, lady evans said, would be felt not just in this country, but across the globe. yesterday was a shocking day for everyone who works within the palace of westminster. but what shone through has been the support and care that members and staff showed for each other. and i would like to thank all noble lords for their patience
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and cooperation as events unfolded. house: hear, hear. last night as we returned home, we were very grateful. notjust because of the shocking, tragic events of the day, but simply because we could return home, and others would never do so. as the noble lady has said, those injured and killed on westminster bridge where both visitors and locals of our great, global city. they were just going about their everyday business, enjoying their day. for many, those survivors, life will never be the same. our thoughts from these benches, and prayers, also with the families of those who lost their lives yesterday, and our profound sympathies are also with those innocent victims that members of the public who were on westminster bridge, and who were also subject
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to this senseless attack. my lords, i would also, of course, like to pay tribute to pc keith palmer who lost his life yesterday. an extremely brave man. and to all the police and security staff who do so much everyday to protect all who come to parliament, to work or to visit it. we aren't these benches during the everyone else in this house in expressing our deepest sympathy to the family of pc keith palmer, so tragically taken from us as he sought to deter the attacker. we remember, too, the families and friends of the members of the public who were killed, and all those who were injured, including students from france, whose visit to our city was so devastated by what happened. the archbishop of canterbury highlighted how the attacker had
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received treatment from the very people he had been seeking to kill. where we do what is right, where we behave properly, where that generosity and extraordinary sense of duty that leads people to treat a terrorist is shown, where that bravery of someone like pc keith palmer is demonstrated, there is a victory for what is right and good over what is evil, despairing and bad. that was shown yesterday, that is shown not only in our expression of values but in our practices, which define those values, and that is the mood which we must show in the future. the most reverend justin welby. the attack sent shock waves around the political world. in holyrood the news came as members of the scottish parliament were in the middle of a crucial debate on whether the first minister, nicola sturgeon, should begin talks with westminster over transferring powers to holyrood for a second independence referendum, as our scotland political editor, brian taylor explains.
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on wednesday there was a democratic debate here in holyrood. more than that, it was a debate about democracy, a debate about competing interpretations of a democratic mandate, a debate, in short, about whether power should be transferred from westminster to holyrood in order to enable a second independence referendum to take place. it was the second day of that debate that was passionate on all sides, it was democratic discourse. but as that got underway, as it continued, as it was sustained, the news began to seep through from westminster of terrible events. as that news was confirmed that there was a tragedy unfolding on westminster bridge and around the palace of westminster, the decision was taken eventually after consultation to suspend
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proceedings here at holyrood. the chamber fell silent for the day. but democracy is only postponed, not thwarted entirely. there will be a continuation of that debate here in holyrood on tuesday. there will then be a vote among the parties as to whether those powers should be transferred with the expectation that the vote here will be in favour of that transfer, with the expectation that the prime minister will say no in response to that demand for a transfer. but it is important to bear in mind thatjust as the prime minister is determined to go ahead in the face of tragedy with triggering article 50 next week, beginning the process of britain being removed from the eu, so here at holyrood the parties, the governing party, the opposition, are determined to go ahead with that democratic debate, with that debate about democracy. brian taylor. and as brian was saying, that debate on independence will resume on tuesday.
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meanwhile msps used the weekly session of first minister's questions to send a message of solidarity to westminster. we know that at times like these it can be all too easy to look for someone to blame. it is important, therefore, that we are very clear about this. acts of terrorism are not the responsibility of any one faith or section of our society. the only people to blame for acts of terrorism are the individuals who plan and perpetrate them. whatever our disagreements in this chamber or any other, we stand united in our core values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. yesterday, a coward killed three innocent people and injured many more in an attempt to attack the symbol of our country's democracy. his attack on our values failed as he died, by the paramedics who demonstrated what a civilised society is by trying to save him. and his attack on our freedom will fail again today as we show our resolve by returning to work and getting on with our lives.
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london is a microcosm of the world. we know from the prime minister's statement just an hour ago that those injured yesterday were british, french, romanian, south korean, greek, german, polish and irish. london is an open and multicultural city, home to people of all faith and from many different and diverse nations. a city that last year elected europe's first muslim mayor. so no matter the religion, nationality or identity of the attacker, or those arrested earlier this morning, this cannot and must not turn into a war on any one community. the lasting injury that some people wish to inflict on us all is to destroy the empathy and solidarity which our society depends upon so we must all be united in expressing and building that empathy and solidarity, in particular challenging those who would seek to blame, stigmatise and alienate people on the basis of their religion. for four years i would walk up
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kennington road and over westminster bridge. i would look up to big ben and then down the thames. dodging past the tourists taking pictures of this iconic scene recognised right across the globe. i would descend the steps and into the palace of westminster, nodding at the police officer who would nod in return. "morning, mr rennie." it was the personal touch. i don't think i'll be able to walk that route again without thinking of the people run over, the woman in the river, the police and the people injured. the three people who died, perhaps some were tourists taking pictures. the officer who stood to defend democracy but losing his life in the process. but i do want to be free to walk that route again. getting the balance right between security and freedom is a difficult one.
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does the first minister agree with me that we must act based on security, expertise, evidence and intelligence and not fear? nicola sturgeon replied that she agreed very strongly with what willie rennie had said. other news now. on thursday thousands of people, including former us president bill clinton, attended the funeral in londonderry of martin mcguinness, the former ira commander who went on to become deputy first minister of the northern ireland assembly. political friends and foes had recalled his life at a special meeting at stormont the day before. martin mcguinness was an integral part of this institution since its inception in 1998. many members have sat in this chamber in that period but few have demonstrated the same level of commitment to this assembly. indeed, without martin mcguinness, it is questionable whether there would be an assembly.
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martin mcguinness was a political visionary. he played a key and enormous part in delivering fundamental change in this society and in transforming the relationships on this island and between these islands. he was a gifted political strategist, an orator, a thinker and an occasional angler, when he got the chance. he never sought to airbrush the past and neither did i. and of course it is precisely because of his past, because of his involvement with the ira in the 70s and 80s because of his influence within those circles that he was able to play the role he played in bringing the republican movement towards using peaceful and democratic means. and because of all of that, i doubt we will ever see his like again.
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as an ira terrorist and commander, his hands drip with the blood of the innocent. he goes to his grave having shown no remorse, no regret, no apology for the terror he brought to our streets. jim allister, speaking following the death of northern ireland's former deputy first minister, martin mcguinness. the lord chiefjustice of england and wales has strongly criticised the lord chancellor, liz truss, forfailing to defend the independence of the judiciary. last year, lord thomas and two high courtjudges were described as "enemies of the people" by the daily mail following a ruling that parliament had the right to vote on triggering article 50, formally beginning the uk's exit from the eu. earlier this month liz truss told the lords constitution committee
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that she was a "huge believer" in the independence of the judiciary, but drew the line at saying what the press should print. a view put to lord thomas. i think criticism is very healthy. if you've got something wrong, fine. but there is a difference between criticism and abuse and i don't think that is understood. i don't think it is understood either how absolutely essential it is that we are protected because we have to act as our oath requires us, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. and it is the only time in the whole of myjudicial career that i had to ask for the police to give us a measure of advice and protection in relation to the emotions that were being stirred up. and i think it is very wrong that judges should feel it. the circuitjudges were very concerned. they wrote to the lord chancellor because litigants in person were coming and saying, "you are an enemy of the people." and i regret to have
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to criticise her as severely as i have but to my mind she is completely and absolutely wrong, as i have said about this, and i am very disappointed but i can understand what the pressures were in november but she has taken a position that is constitutionally absolutely wrong. the transport department announced a ban on airline passengers carrying laptops and other devices in their cabin baggage. it affects flights to the uk from turkey, lebanon, saudi arabia, egypt, tunisia and jordan. the transport secretary, chris grayling, told the commons he wanted aviation to continue as normal, these were extra security measures to make sure it was safe. jeremy corbyn used prime minister's questions to accuse the government of cutting funding for schools in england. in the budget, the government found no more money for the schools budget but it did find £320 million for her own special schools, grammar schools vanity project. what kind of priority is that?
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yes, we want diversity, we want different sorts of schools. we have put money into new school places but i say to the right honourable gentleman, his shadow home secretary sent her child to a private school, his shadow attorney general sent her child to a private school. he sent his child to a grammar school. he went to a grammar school himself. typical labour — take the advantage and pull up the ladder behind you. theresa may is to formally trigger the uk's exit from the eu on wednesday. the president of the european union has been told the uk is to activate article 50 of the lisbon treaty, beginning the two—year withdrawal period. downing street said that it hoped negotiations on the terms of brexit and future relations could then begin as quickly as possible. theresa may is expected to make a statement to mps on wednesday once
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article 50 has been triggered. confirmation of the date came just before eu leaders, minus theresa may, were due to meet to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the treaty of rome, the agreement creating the european economic community, the forerunner of the eu. and that's it from me for now. but dojoinjoanna shinn on monday night at 11 for another round up of the day here at westminster. but for now, from me, goodbye. hello, good morning. 19 degrees in one or two places on saturday but it's turned cold very quickly. perhaps not quite so chilly across more southern parts of england and wales where that easterly wind is still blowing,
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but across northern areas, no wind, one or two mist and fog patches perhaps, and cold enough for a frost in quite a few places once again. but it will warm up very quickly in the sunshine on sunday. there'll be lots of that. close to the area of high pressure, the winds are lightest, still a bit more cloud coming into shetland, possibly 0rkney. further south, that nagging wind, that easterly wind quite brisk across southern parts of england. that'll take the edge off the temperatures. generally we're looking at around about the mid—teens, a touch cooler around about the eastern coasts of england. highest temperatures probably across western scotland, western parts of northern ireland and west wales. again, 18 maybe 19 degrees. but some changes on monday. a bit more cloud around taking temperatures back across northern england, southern scotland, northern ireland but to the south, not as windy and there'll be some more warm sunshine as well. police say the westminster attacker khalid masood acted alone and his motive may never be known. they also say the incident lasted just 82 seconds and there is no
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information to suggest further attacks are planned. the family of the police officer keith palmer who was killed have paid tribute to his selfless bravery and loving nature. good morning, it's sunday 26th march. more than 30 people are injured after a suspected gas explosion destroys a building in the wirral.
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